Vikings $8 Million DB Injured Again, 2 Starters Go Down

Andrew Booth Jr.

Courtesy of Vikings Vikings second-round pick Andrew Booth Jr. underwent knee surgery on November 28, 2022.

The Minnesota Vikings have begun to feel the sting of the NFL preseason injury bug, which bit them a handful of times at practice on Tuesday, August 1.

Second-year cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. was the first player of note to go down, per Alec Lewis of The Athletic.

“#Vikings CB Andrew Booth Jr. is walking off with a trainer,” Lewis tweeted a little after 3 p.m. Central time.

ESPN’s Kevin Seifert followed up Lewis’ report by noting that a Vikings doctor trailed Booth off of the practice field and into the locker room. Later in the afternoon, Seifert provided additional injury information from the day’s practice that included two offensive players.

“Players who didn’t finish practice for apparent injury reasons: CB Andrew Booth, WR Trishton Jackson, RB Alexander Mattison,” Seifert tweeted. “Jackson was taken off on a cart. Mattison stayed on the field and watched the remainder of practice before walking to the locker room.”

Andrew Booth’s Troubling Injury Trend Continues With Vikings

Andrew Booth Jr., Vikings

GettyMinnesota Vikings cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. comes up to attempt a tackle of Las Vegas Raiders running back Kenyan Drake during a preseason NFL game in August 2022.

Minnesota has seen this movie once before with Booth, who is approaching the start of just his second professional season in September.

The Vikings selected the cornerback out of Clemson with the No. 42 overall pick in the second round of the 2022 NFL draft. After signing a four-year rookie contract worth $8.3 million, Booth played in just six games, making only one start, before suffering a season-ending knee injury in late November that required surgery to repair. He tallied 12 tackles and surrendered 11 catches on 13 targets, giving up a collective rating of 108.0 to opposing quarterbacks across 105 defensive snaps, per Pro Football Reference.

Booth was a gamble even before his knee issues last fall. Touted as a first-round talent possessing elite athleticism, the cornerback fell to the second round because of his injury history in college. After knee surgery last year, doctors have now performed five operations on Booth due to injury concerns since 2020.

“The red flags were up pre-draft,” KSTP’s Darren Wolfson said on the SKOR North Podcast in the wake of Booth’s injury eight months ago. “There were teams that had medical checks next to his name. … There were a number of teams that wouldn’t have touched him in the 30s, 40s, 50s or even 60s.”

General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah pounced on the opportunity to select Booth with a value pick in the mid-second round, assuming the risk that accompanied the CB’s record of health issues. That move has not paid off thus far, and the developments of Tuesday don’t bode well for the immediate future.

Alexander Mattison’s Injury Shines Light on Vikings’ Need at RB

Alexander Mattison

GettyRunning back Alexander Mattison of the Minnesota Vikings warms up before an NFL game against the Detroit Lions in September 2022.

While Mattison’s injury appears less serious than either Booth’s or Jackson’s based on his behavior in its aftermath, his presence on the sideline was a visual reminder that the Vikings are short at the position.

Behind Mattison on the depth chart are Ty Chandler, Kene Nwangwu and DeWayne McBride — a trio that has amassed 28 collective rushing attempts at the NFL level. Nwangwu did not participate in practice on Tuesday, per Seifert.

Minnesota released running back Dalvin Cook in June, saving $9 million in salary cap space in the process. Mattison’s issue on Tuesday, however minor, is call for the team to at least examine brining a backup rusher into camp with some regular season experience — a potential move that is worth watching for over the coming days.

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